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Saturday, July 20, 2013

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St. Apollinarius

Exodus 12:37-42
Psalm 136:1, 23-24, 10-15
Matthew 12:14-21

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loving to heal

"Many people followed Him and He cured them all, though He sternly ordered them not to make public what He had done." —Matthew 12:15-16

Many of Jesus' healings were signs that the kingdom of God was at hand. Yet Jesus ordered some of those healed early in His ministry to not make their healings public. Early in Jesus' public ministry, the general understanding of the kingdom of God and the mission of Jesus was not yet developed. So His early healings may not have been signs of his kingdom. It's very likely that Jesus' purpose in healing these people was simply love. He loved people so much that He didn't wait for the kingdom to develop before bringing them comfort and healing.

On several occasions, those who were healed disobeyed Jesus and publicized their healings. This made things difficult for Jesus. He could not enter towns openly but had to stay in desert places (Mt 1:45). Furthermore, His mission was misunderstood. In particular, His message of the cross was largely ignored. Nevertheless, Jesus healed people knowing that this would make His work much more difficult. Jesus loved people so much it was difficult for Him not to heal immediately.

Jesus is the same today (see Heb 13:8). He wants to heal us much more than the most desperately suffering person wants to be healed, because He loves us much more than we love ourselves. He wants to love, save, and heal us so much that He became a man and died on the cross for us. "By His wounds you were healed" (1 Pt 2:24).

Prayer:  Jesus, by repenting of my sins, may I let You love and heal me.

Promise:  "In His name, the Gentiles will find hope." —Mt 12:21

Praise:  St. Apollinarius continued to return to the place where he was being persecuted in order to spread the Gospel.

Rescript:  †Most Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Auxiliary Bishop, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, January 18, 2013

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